Stories of Vilner Life Accompanied by Music

Arkadijus Gotesmanas, photo from the press release.

Klezmer music festivals are scheduled from August 10 to October 5 in Vilnius, Klaipėda, Kaišiadorys, Joniškis, Merkinė and other Lithuanian towns which will include a nine-concert series called Music for Failed Plays adapted from Abraomas Karpinovičius’s collection of tales The Last Prophet of Vilnius, festival organizers said in a press release.

Avant-garde jazz percussionist and modern music performer Arkadijus Gotesmanas is the force behind the festival. He says he wants to introduce the Lithuanian public to the original writer Abraomas Karpinovičius (1918-2004) who wrote in Yiddish.

His work commemorates the former Jewish life of Vilna, the Jewish drama theater and the Jewish community. Often his characters are odd, for example, Gedalkė Kantorius, who believed melodies could be frozen in a teapot and kept till spring, or the folklorist at the Halle market in Vilnius who collected profanities, or Rokhala who claimed to be a member of the royal court, or the woman who drew banknotes for the future state of Israel outside the Great Synagogue.

The concerts will include passages from Last Prophet read by Rolandas Rastauskas, Adolfas Večerskis, Jevgenija Karpikova, Donatas Katkus and Laurynas Katkus. Performers are to include saxophone maestro Petras Vyšniauskas, bassist Vytis Nivinskis, saxophonist Jan Maksimovič, saxophonist Vytautas Labutis, Gotesmanas on percussion and there will be arrangements of Lithuanian and Jewish folk and klezmer works performed by Borisas Kirzneris on violin and Andrius Balachovičius on accordion.

Festival organizer: Meninių projektų ciklai. Main partners: Lithuanian Cultural Council, Goodwill Foundation, Lithuanian Jewish Community, Lithuanian National Radio.

6th Klezmer Music Festival 2017


August 10
Palanga, Lithuania
8:00 P.M.
Ramybė Club. Opening ceremony, excerpts from Last Prophet of Vilnius story Jewish Money accompanied by music.
Participants: writer Rolanas Rastauskas, Arkadijus Gotesmanas

August 24
7:00 P.M.
Jewish Cultural and Information Center. Excerpts read by Jevgenija Karpikova accompanied by Andrius Balachovičius on accordion.

September 2
Šeduva, Lithuania
6:30 P.M.
Šeduva Culture and Crafts Center. Excerpt from the Tamara Ilgšė story in Last Prophet accompanied by music, presentation of excerpt from Akvilė Žilionytė’s project Screens of Books. Participants: actress Jevgenija Karpikova, Arkadijus Gotesmanas.

September 4
Klaipėda, Lithuania
7:00 P.M.
Klaipėda Jewish Community. Excerpts from Last Prophet of Vilnius story Jewish Money accompanied by music. Participants: violinist Borisas Kirzneris, Arkadijus Gotesmanas.

September 5
7:00 P.M.
Tolerance Center of the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum. Excerpts from Last Prophet story Tree by the Theater and Jewish Money accompanied by music. Participants in Part One: conducter Donatas Katkus and writer Laurynas Katkus read passages accompanied by saxophonist Petras Vyšniauskas. Participants in Part Two: actor Adolfas Večerskis and Arkadijus Gotesmanas.

September 7
Kaišiadorys, Lithuania
6:30 P.M.
Kaišiadorys Train Station. Participants: Rolandas Rastauskas, Arkadijus Gotesmanas.

September 10
Merkinė, Lithuania
1:00 P.M.
Merkinė Town Square. Participants: Arkadijus Gotesmanas reads accompanied by Vytautas Labutis on sax.

September 14
Joniškis, Lithuania
6:00 P.M.
White Synagogue. Passages from Jewish Money story in Last Prophet accompanied by music. Participants: Adolfas Večerskis, Arkadijus Gotesmanas on percussion.

October 5
7:00 P.M.
Tolerance Center. Closing concert Once upon a Time in Vilnius. Participants: Jewish song collector and performer Dr. Maria Krupoves, Vilnius Klezmer Orchestra.